Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Papers for students to report on

One of the Biology 121 project options is writing a report on a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Students are free to choose any paper that interests them, but I'm providing a list of suitable papers as well.

It's nice if the papers are by local researchers, so I've emailed my colleagues asking for suggestions of papers they've written that might be suitable. The paper shouldn't be overwhelmingly technical, which rules out a lot of molecular biology papers, but this course isn't about molecular biology so that's OK. And they shouldn't be too long. And they should be sufficiently well written that students can understand what the research question was and why it's interesting.

When I discussed their papers with last year's students, many said "I had to read my paper five times before I started to understand it!" But they weren't complaining - rather they were proud that they'd eventually mastered such difficult material, and felt that this new skill would be a big help in their future courses.

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